Hiring Best Practices and Recruiting Guidelines

Here are some recommended best practices and guidelines for recruiting Penn State engineering students.

Employment Guidelines and Policies

We maintain the following guidelines and policies for all employers recruiting at Penn State, which are adapted from the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) Principles for Professional Conduct for Career Services & Employment Professionals.

Equal Employment Opportunities

You will be expected to maintain Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruitment activities. You should consider all interested students for employment opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, and provide reasonable accommodations upon request.

We will:

  • Notify you of any selection procedures that appear to have an adverse impact based upon students' race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability
  • Help you access specific groups of students on campus to provide a more inclusive applicant pool
  • Respond to complaints of EEO noncompliance, working with you to resolve such complaints and, if necessary, referring such complaints to the appropriate campus department or agency

Testing Policies

Anyone engaged in administering, evaluating, and interpreting assessment tools, tests, and technology used in selection must be trained and qualified to do so. You must advise our office of any test being conducted on campus by your company or organization and eliminate such a test if it violates campus policies.

You must advise students in a timely fashion of the type and purpose of any test that they will be required to take as part of the recruitment process and let them know to whom the test results will be disclosed.

Extending Offers

You must supply accurate information about your organization, employment opportunities, and compensation packages when extending offers. Employers are responsible for information supplied and commitments made by their representatives.

We do not have specific restrictions on when you may extend offers. However, we request that you communicate decisions to candidates within a reasonable timeframe and communicate that timeframe in advance.

You should provide candidates at least three weeks to consider offers and refrain from pressuring them to accept the offers or to renege on acceptance of other offers. We do not condone the use of exploding offers or other time-sensitive incentives that could put undue pressure on students.

If conditions change and you must rescind a job offer, you should pursue a course of action for the affected candidate(s) that is fair and equitable, including—but not limited to—financial assistance for costs already incurred and outplacement services.

Third-Party Recruiters

Organizations providing recruiting services for a fee must inform us of the specific employer they represent and the specific jobs for which they are recruiting and will permit verification of the information.

When deemed necessary, third-party recruiters will disclose information upon request that would enable our staff to verify that the third-party recruiters are recruiting for a bona fide job opportunity. Information must include contact information for the organization for which the third party is providing recruiting services. Our staff must respect the confidentiality of this information and may not publish it in any manner. Any disclosure of student information outside of the third-party recruiting organization and the company it is representing must be with the prior consent of the student.

Third-party recruiters who charge fees to students will not be permitted access to Nittany Lion Careers.

Restrictions on Recruiting Activities

  • You must meet the following conditions in order to avoid restrictions on access to engineering recruiting activities:
  • You must not improperly influence and/or affect job acceptances. Such practices may include placing undue time pressure on students to accept employment offers or encouraging them to renege on other offers.
  • You must supply accurate information about your organization, employment opportunities, compensation packages, and typical earnings and performance statistics. Employers are responsible for information supplied and commitments made by their representatives. If unexpected conditions require you to rescind an offer, you must pursue a course of action for the affected candidate that is fair and equitable.
  • You must provide us with appropriate business contact information and must clearly display the identity of your company or organization during all recruiting events and activities.
  • If you require a financial investment on the part of students to participate in an internship or entry-level position (e.g., the purchase of a demonstration package or payment for a required training program), you will do so only if:
    • Students have the opportunity to rent necessary equipment/materials;
    • Students are fully informed about the amounts and specific uses of required fees, as well as whether or not a reimbursement policy exists.
  • If you are recruiting students for the purpose of selling your products/services to other students, staff, faculty, or others on campus, you must pursue potential partnerships with student clubs or organizations. We do not get involved in the promotion of such opportunities (refer to Penn State Policy AD27 for further information).
  • You are prohibited from serving alcohol as part of the recruiting process.
  • You will maintain EEO compliance and follow affirmative action principles in recruiting activities. Appropriate recruiting activities include the following:
    • Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, and providing reasonable accommodations upon request;
    • Reviewing selection criteria for adverse impact based upon students' race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability;
    • Avoiding use of inquiries that are considered unacceptable by EEO standards during the recruiting process;
    • Investigating complaints forwarded by us regarding EEO noncompliance and seeking resolution of such complaints.
  • You will maintain the confidentiality of student information, regardless of the source, including personal knowledge, written records/reports, and computer databases. There will be no disclosure of student information to other employers without the prior written consent of the student, unless necessitated by health and/or safety considerations.
  • If you are engaged in administering, evaluating, and/or interpreting assessment tools, tests, and/or technology, you will inform us of these tests and ensure that they do not violate campus policies.

Hiring Internship and Co-op Participants

Short-term work experiences such as internships or co-ops have many benefits for both students and employers. To provide participants the best chances for success, we have some expectations of employers who hire these students.

Prior to the Work Experience

  • If you require students to be registered for internship or co-op credit, let them know as soon as possible.
  • Provide students with any basic information that they will need on their first day of either in-person or remote work, including start and end times, what to expect, appropriate attire, and any required documentation or remote access information.
  • For in-person internship or co-op experiences, offer students assistance with locating appropriate housing.

Throughout the Work Experience

  • On the first day or during the first week, provide an overview or tour of the office or facility, a meet-and-greet with other members of the team, and an orientation program or materials so that students are informed about your organization's policies, procedures, and expectations.
  • During the first two weeks, provide students with project summaries and indicate how they relate to students' learning objectives. Since many engineering students choose to receive academic credit for internship or co-op experiences, especially during the fall and spring semesters, it's important that they have meaningful work experiences that are related to their field of study and that enhance their engineering education.
  • Meet with students at regular pre-determined intervals throughout the work experience to discuss progress.
  • Ensure that students have continuous oversight and support throughout their internships or co-ops.
  • If for any reason you need to lay off or terminate a Penn State student before the end of a semester experience, please contact us prior to doing so.

Student Evaluations and Reports

Students who are enrolled in semester-long credit-bearing internships and co-ops through our office—ENGR 195, 295, 395, 495, and 595—will require employer assistance in providing online evaluations at different points in the semester(s), including a Mid-Semester Supervisor Evaluation and a Final Supervisor Evaluation; students enrolled in internships less than 10 weeks in duration or less than 20 hours per week—ENGR 197—only need a Final Supervisor Evaluation. Supervisors should meet with intern or co-op participants prior to completing these evaluations.

The Mid-Semester Evaluation offers supervisors a chance to provide constructive feedback that can shape the rest of their students’ internship or co-op experiences. The Final Evaluation allows supervisors to provide students input on their overall performance, how they could improve in future work assignments, and how well they met their own goals and those of their employer.

Supervisors will be notified by email when these evaluations should be completed, along with links to the evaluations and due dates for each.

At the conclusion of all credit-bearing internships and co-op rotations, supervisors must also electronically approve students’ End-of-Semester Reports, which summarize their work experiences and provide opportunities for self-evaluation. By their approval, supervisors confirm that these reports do not contain any proprietary information. Reports are then reviewed and graded by faculty or staff in the College of Engineering.

Entry-Level Full-Time Hiring

If you're hiring graduating students or recent graduates, consider the following best practices for entry-level recruits.

  • Provide as much information as possible about what individual positions require (including educational background, major, duties, and work hours) so job seekers can make appropriate decisions about whether or not to apply.
  • Provide all job offers in writing and give candidates a minimum of two weeks to make a decision.
  • Once candidates accept offers, communicate any basic information they will need to move forward regarding things like start date, what to expect on their first day of work, appropriate attire, and any required documentation or remote access information.
  • If appropriate, offer assistance with locating housing and relocation costs.
  • On the first day or during the first week, provide an overview or tour of the office or facility, a meet-and-greet with other members of the team, and an orientation program or materials so that new hires are informed about your organization's policies, procedures, and expectations.
  • If possible, assign new hires a mentor to help them with questions and adjustment to the workplace.
 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032